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I focus almost exclusively on PvP, whether solo, small gang, or large bloc warfare. In the past, I've been a miner, mission runner, and faction warfare jockey. I'm particularly interested in helping high-sec players get into 0.0 combat.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

It’s Time for an In-Game Timer Board

When FozzieSov hits in a couple weeks, each null alliance could find themselves with potentially multiple timers for each of multiple systems.  We’ll have a significant amount of contesting to do, and very quickly, we’re going to find ourselves overwhelmed with data.

I don’t think it’s unreasonable to assume that the folks who live in the space that brought you weaponized boredom are going to quickly translate sov contests into weaponized timer overload.  A 50-man fleet interested in seizing a constellation is best served by spreading those 50 pilots out across all capture points with the hope that some of them will succeed in pushing them into reinforcement.

And, more likely than not, many of them will succeed.  For a small alliance owning sov, both preventing reinforcement and contesting it will be an incredibly difficult task, as you could have 50 capture nodes spawn from 10 successful entosis reinforcements out of those 50.  That’s a lot of items coming out of reinforcement, all at different times.

Now, managing these timers is no problem for an alliance like Razor, who has a very slick op timer organized by date/time with countdowns and trackers of whether the timer is defensive or offensive.  RP (a corp, not an alliance) has one for all of our events, as well.  But both rely on out-of-game web services, which cost real dollars to maintain.  And, let’s face it, to compete, alliances NEED to have a timer board to allow line members to track what’s happening and be online at the right times.  For people to log in and participate in your fleet, they need to know a fleet is happening.

This is doubly true of smaller alliances that take in less “seasoned” players.  A new null player isn’t going to know when timers come out of reinforcement and what to do; he’s going to be looking to find that information – in the best case!

But an in-game timer system would allow everyone to immediately know what timers are coming up.  The calendar has this, to some extent, but it isn’t dynamic.  Let’s say there are four events in the EUTZ, and one in the USTZ… that last one is going to be buried always, even at 20:00 Eve time.  But a rolling timer board counting down would adjust as timers pass and drop off.

CCP, we need this.  Auto-post times that entosis link reinforcement periods end.  Allow defensive POS reinforcement to post automatically, and allow attackers to right click on the reinforced timer to add the timer to their alliance’s timer board.  And, allow players to post their own fleets to the board, following the same permission structure as they do when they create the actual fleets themselves (corp, alliance, standings, etc.).

A timer board would help bridge the gap between IT-heavy mega-blocs and smaller alliances that may not have the resources to run full IT functionality out-of-game.

FozzieSov is developed with the goal of Balkanizing null-sec… now we need to allow those alliances to compete with some basic infrastructure that enables fights, provides a visible summary of all the information pumping through notifications, and creates a little parity.

Otherwise, the little guys are going to be inundated, slaughtered, and lose interest in the null-game before they have a chance to develop a love for it.


  1. If I remember correctly, the new Sov UI was going to have all this information available. If you look at the devblog liked below, there looks to be progress bars that look like they might be timers. So, it looks to be there, just might not all be in one place.

    -Baljos Arnjak

    1. I did read something about that, but I wasn't sure exactly where that was residing. It has to be "Timers for dummies" to be used and be effective, particularly if we want it to help deepen immersion and make it easy for people to be informed about fights.

  2. Don't get me wrong, I completely agree with you and this whole article.

    However.... You've thinking at completely the wrong scale. To me, the 'size to be aimed for' is maybe, 2-3 constellations. At largest, I figure a region. That's up to 200 timers for the largest groups (with their own in-house IT support). You're treating things as they remain today, when they'll be different tomorrow.

    But seriously, I agree with the post. I don't really like 'in-house' IT requirements anyway. They're a big barrier to entry.

    Rob K.

    As an aside, I've been staring at Order 66 and Concurrent Users for some time, I'm trying to get my thoughts into a decent reply. As an aside, analogies are really frustrating to challenge.